University of Arizona and March Madness coming to Utah
Reporter: Jason Barr, Sports Director
SALT LAKE CITY (Utah Utes) The University of Utah is hosting NCAA Men’s Basketball second- and third-round games on Thursday and Saturday at Energy Solutions Arena.
Four second-round West Region games will take place on Thursday, two in the afternoon session and two in the evening session. The winners will meet in a pair of third-round games on Saturday at times to be determined.
No. 8 Pittsburgh (24-8), out of the Big East Conference, will face No. 9 Wichita State (26-8) in Thursday’s opening game at 11:40 a.m. MDT on TBS. Pitt is one of only seven programs nationally to advance to the NCAA Tournament in 11 of the last 12 seasons. Wichita State fell to Creighton, 68-65, in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament final.
Gonzaga (31-2), the No. 1 seed in the West Region, will face No. 16 Southern University (23-9) in the second game Thursday afternoon at approximately 2:10 p.m. MDT on TBS. The Bulldogs won both the West Coast Conference regular season and tournament titles. Southern won the SWAC tournament championship.
No. 6 Arizona faces No. 11 Belmont in the first game of the Thursday evening session at 5:20 p.m. MDT on TNT. The Wildcats finished in a three-way tie for second in the Pac-12 Conference during the regular season. The Bruins, who won the Ohio Valley Conference tournament in their first year in the league, join Kansas and Memphis as the only three NCAA Division I programs to earn NCAA Tournament automatic bids six of the last eight years.
New Mexico, the No. 3 seed in the West, will take on No. 14 Harvard in the final game of the day at approximately 7:50 p.m. MDT on TNT. The Lobos won both the Mountain West Conference regular season and tournament titles for the second consecutive year. Harvard earned an automatic bid by winning the Ivy League regular season championship for a second straight year.